World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Unions welcome Thai fisher slavery exposé

Unions welcome Thai fisher slavery exposé


Two international union federations working together to fight appalling exploitation of fishery workers have applauded this week’s exposé by the UK’s Guardian newspaper of the use of slave labour in the Thai prawn industry.

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) are working on the ground in Thailand to fight the slavery being used there. Liz Blackshaw, programme leader for the joint ITF/IUF From catcher to counter initiative, commented: “This publicity is hugely helpful. It will be welcomed by everyone fighting this disgusting human trade. It also shows the need for retailers to audit the entire supply chain to ensure that all products are sourced ethically and responsibly. Consumers deserve and demand transparency and rigorous checking.”

She continued: “There is a dramatic need for action in Thailand also. This was highlighted by trade unions and by human rights and anti-slavery organisations at last month’s Multi-stakeholder Forum on Labour Conditions in the Fisheries Sector in Thailand, held in Bangkok, which involved representatives of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Thai government, fishery industry, international buyers, unions and NGOs. At that forum the ITF informed the government and all stakeholders that it is irresponsible to refuse to ratify ILO Work in Fishing Convention No.188. It is shocking that Thailand’s new military government was this week the only one to vote against a new ILO protocol to fight forced labour.* We would expect the USA to be putting the country in the worst category of its human trafficking blacklist.”

She added: “It is heartening that Norwegian retailer Ica has announced that it is removing scampi linked to CP Foods from its shelves – a move actively backed by ITF fisheries section chair Johnny Hansen of the Norsk Sjømannsforbund (Norwegian Seafarers’ Union).”

The ITF and IUF state that the fishing sector has many dark secrets, not just in Thailand, and there are improvements that could drastically change it for the better. These are:
• Respect for fundamental workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining for all
• All ILO member states should ratify the new protocol to the ILO forced labour convention
• Full audits by retailers of fishery product supply chains to ensure ethical and responsible sourcing that also meets human rights obligations in supply chains under the UN Guiding Principle on Business & Human Rights, OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and ILO conventions
• Transparency and comprehensive information on where fish were harvested and the whole chain of processing, to enable consumers to make ethical, socially responsible purchasing decisions
• Ratification and implementation of ILO Work in Fishing Convention No.188
• An aggressive programme of international criminal investigations into criminal activity and criminal failure to act
• Compulsory registration of fishing vessels over 24 metres long or 100 GMT
• Increasing the use of inspectors, including for labour inspections
• Governments establishing tripartite representation in the sector, including oversight of labour standards
• Regional fisheries management organisations and governments leveraging licence allocation and catch quotas against compliance with human rights obligations and labour standards
• Fishing vessels to have a collective agreement onboard to protect crew
• Processing plants to have genuine union recognition and the right to collective bargaining

The Guardian reports can be seen at http://bit.ly/1kWQla0, http://bit.ly/TEfJWC and http://bit.ly/1uez2kD. For more about the From catcher to counter programme see www.itfglobal.org/fish/index.cfm

*See http://reut.rs/1pnkT6O


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news